Avalon Felicity River Cruises - Avalon Waterways®

March 31, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
This weekend, Avalon Waterways unveiled and christened the Avalon Felicity in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village. Measha Brueggergosman, a soprano who has emerged as one of the most magnificent performers and vibrant personalities in opera, served as the ship's godmother.

Brueggergosman blessed the ship with the following words, "May you traverse these great European river waters with grace and respect. May you carry with you and edify within you, the laughter, joy and love of those seeking heartening vistas and enlightening experiences May you, use the scope of the resources within you to promote harmony, diversity and understanding amongst all cultures and ethnicities It is with heartfelt Canadian pride and sincerest humility that I now christen you Avalon Felicity. May you hold safe her crew, and all guests who sail on her."

After reciting the christening speech, Brueggergosman cut the rope tethered to a bottle of Champagne. The Avalon Felicity's 39 crew members cheered from the ship's sky deck as the bottle shattered against the vessel's newly painted exterior.

The Avalon Felicity marks the company's ninth new ship in Europe since 2004. Post-christening, the Avalon Felicity set sail on its inaugural Romantic Rhine cruise.

The Avalon Felicity:
Arriving from the Den Breejen Shipyard in Holland, the delivery of the Avalon Felicity setting sail less than one year after the inaugural cruises of sister ships Avalon Affinity and Avalon Creativity once again underscores Avalon Waterways position as the fastest-growing river cruise company in the world, offering travelers the youngest fleet of ships in Europe.

"Our approach of deploying new vessels, complete with the next generation of design and amenities, has not just added capacity in Europe and around the world, it's energized the small ship cruise category," said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. "Our ships are modern in design, showcasing contemporary appointments and state-of-the art technology. They also house the largest staterooms available. All staterooms measure 172-square feet and 90 percent boast floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors, while our Junior Suites are a spacious 258-square feet."

The Avalon Felicity features 65 staterooms and four Junior Suites. Other amenities and features on the Felicity include: Flat screen televisions, modern bathrooms, large closets, flexible bed design (beds may be configured as two twins or one queen), Egyptian cotton linens, mini-bar, safe, laundry and ironing services, a fully equipped fitness room, library, hair salon and gift shop, as well as a club lounge and large Jacuzzi pool on the Sky Deck. Open-air dining is also available at lunch each day on this new ship, thanks to the Felicity's Sky Deck grill.

Visit www.avalonwaterways.com/difference to get a virtual tour, complete with 360-degree views, of the Avalon Felicity's sister ship, the Avalon Scenery.

About Measha Brueggergosman
Noted by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a singer of rare gifts and artistic intensity" and by the Miami Herald for possessing "a superb voice capable of just about everything," Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has emerged as one of the most magnificent performers and vibrant personalities of the day. She is critically acclaimed by the international press as much for her innate musicianship and voluptuous voice as for a sovereign stage presence far beyond her years. Her extraordinary versatility, intuitive musicality, and radiant star quality have yielded an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first recording on the label, Surprise, was released in 2007 and garnered a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year.

A dynamic scope of repertoire coupled with a profound depth of artistic commitment bring Measha Brueggergosman together with many of the finest international orchestras and most esteemed conductors of our day. During the 2009-10 season appearances include performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 under Gustavo Dudamel for his inaugural concert as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Ravel's Shéhérazade with Jaap van Zweden and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw, and with Ludovic Morlot and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra; Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra (to be recorded for future Deutsche Grammophon release); Berg's SiebenFruhe Lieder with Mark Wigglesworth and the New World Symphony Orchestra; Tippett's A Child of our Time with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony; and Berlioz' Les nuits d'été with Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony. The artist makes her debut with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in concert performances of Carmen, singing Micaëla, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, joins Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Mahler's Symphony No. 8, and returns to the Verbier Festival for a multi-concert residency. She also tours England, France, and Germany with pianist Justus Zeyen in support of her Deutsche Grammophon recital recording, Night and Dreams.

Measha Brueggergosman was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2002 Jeunesses Musicales Montreal International Competition and has been a prizewinner at The Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch, the Wigmore Hall in London, George London Foundation in New York, The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, and the ARD Music Competition in Munich. She also is a recipient of the prestigious Canada Council and Chalmers Performing Arts Grants. She studied at the University of Toronto with Mary Morrison and pursued postgraduate studies in Germany with Edith Wiens. She also has worked with such distinguished musicians as Christoph Eschenbach, Ruth Falcon, Brigitte Fassbaender, Margo Garrett, Håkan Hagegård, Jessye Norman, Rudolf Piernay, and Thomas Quasthoff.

About Avalon Waterways
Avalon Waterways is an award-winning small ship cruise company. In addition to countless trade accolades, Avalon Waterways has garnered some of the industry's most prestigious honors: Among them, Avalon Waterways was voted the No. 2 Best Small-Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure's 2009 World's Best Awards, featured in Condé Nast Traveler's 2009 Gold List and voted a Top 10 Small Ship Cruise Line in the publication's 2008 Reader's Choice. The fastest growing cruise company in the industry, Avalon Waterways offers travelers the newest, most luxurious ships in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galápagos. The company's ships feature state-of-the-art design and technology and house the largest staterooms, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. Avalon Waterways is part of the Globus family of brands, a travel industry leader with 80 years of international travel expertise. The Globus family of brands is a member of Sustainable Travel International (STI).

Consumers can book an Avalon Waterways vacation or request brochures by visiting a preferred travel agent or by calling the following toll free number: 1.877.380.1535. For more information, please visit www.avalonwaterways.com. Travel agents can request Avalon Waterways brochures by calling toll free 1.800.221.0090 or visiting www.globusfamilypartner.com.